Rory McIlroy made headlines after chucking his 3-iron into the water on Friday after a wayward shot at the Cadillac Championship at Doral in Florida. The rest of the weekend went much smoother for the world No. 1, who had a good Sunday showing to finish tied for ninth at the World Golf Championship event.
In a funny turn of events, McIlroy was able to play Sunday with the very same 3-iron he flung into a pond after he hit his ball into the water on the 8th hole on Friday. A scuba diver retrieved the club, which then was presented to McIlroy before his final round by Doral owner Donald Trump. The famous mogul would get to keep the club after the round however.
"We'll either donate it to charity or mount it," Trump said to reporters. "But I'd really like to mount it [in the clubhouse]. That was a beautiful moment. He did it [threw the club] with such elegance. We'll do one or the other.
"He's a great kid, a great player. Anything he does is news. It showed a human touch. He's a fantastic person."
McIlroy played a solid round on Sunday to finish up the tournament at Doral. He finished the tournament in a relatively positive fashion by shooting an even par 72 final round. The actual end for McIlroy to the last day was not positive, however. He scorecard was significantly marred by a double-bogey six on the final hole of the tournament. But McIlroy also had a really hot stretch on Sunday where he looked like the golfer who is nearly unbeatable at his best. He birdied 8, 9, 11 and 12 to put his score at -3 on the day. A bogey on 15 and the ending double took him back to even par for the day. The fact, however, that he had sustained good runs marks a return to form for the world’s top golfer.
Dustin Johnson won the Cadillac Championship to continue his recent great run of golf. He shot -9 on the weekend and closed with a final round 69. McIlroy was never really in the hunt for a win—even with his hot streak—and finished eight strokes behind the leader at -1. But a top 10 finish is a good result and something to build on.
Johnson has been in the running most every weekend since returning to golf after a leave of absence from the game to try to resolve personal issues. The big-hitter outlasted second-place J.B. Holmes (-8), who entered the day with a lead but squandered his chance to win with a final round 75. Bubba Watson finished third (-7) but at one point held the top spot on the leaderboard. Bogeys on 11, 12 and 14 negated a stellar front nine in which Watson was four strokes under par.
McIlroy played solid golf the first three days to put together a good tournament, shooting, in order, 73, 70 and 72. Oddly enough, his best round of the competition was the one in which he threw his club. By McIlroy's high standards however, he’s struggled a bit in his return to America for the PGA Tour's Florida swing. He was cut in his first American event of 2015 at the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. It was McIlroy’s first tournament back after a brief break and his first American tournament in the year. The 25-year-old star came back to the states after playing well at a couple of stops on the European tour, including a win in Dubai.
The tournaments, while important, all build toward the Masters, the first major of the season set to begin April 9. Augusta National's major trophy is the last win McIlroy needs to complete his career grand slam. It appears that he's building his game up just in time for the big weekend.